Stockton California Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Representing workers with gradually developing injuries

In many cases, it is quite obvious that a Stockton, California, employee suffered a serious injury while on the job. Although there may be other issues with getting workers' compensation benefits, there is rarely any way to deny in good faith that the injury took place at work, which is one of the prerequisites for getting benefits.

However, many times, employees in California develop workplace injuries only over time. Such is the case frequently with repetitive motion injuries and other problems with joints like the back or knees. Over time, the activities are person must do to perform his or her job wears down the parts of that person's body to the point where they can no longer work.

Do you have to worry about a workers’ compensation denial?

If you suffer an injury on the job, there is nothing more important than obtaining immediate medical treatment. The last thing you want to do is assume that you can treat the injury on your own, as this can lead to more harm than good (in many ways).

While you may not realize it up front, you need to concern yourself with a workers' compensation denial. There are times when workers believe they will receive benefits until they are able to return to work, just to find that nothing could be further from the truth.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to increase in 2018

The federal government announced a COLA, which is short for cost-of-living adjustment, of two percent to certain federal benefits, most prominently the Social Security programs like SSDI and SSI disability benefits.

The COLA, which is determined by an established accounting formula tied to the country's Consumer Price Index, was expected to increase a little bit more than what actually did, at least as of this summer. Still, the COLA is the sharpest adjustment upward since 2012, when the COLA hiked benefit payouts by 3.6 percent.

Are their legal techniques for speeding up an appeal?

There have been many stories in the national news circulating recently about how long people in Stockton, California and other parts of the country are having to wait in order to have their denied claims for disability benefits under the SSDI program reviewed by an administrative law judge who has the power to overturn the denial.

Just on account of the way the system works, many people will wind up needing to ask for a review before an administrative law judge, which means a long wait. While no technique is guaranteed to speed up the wait process, there are certain things a person, usually through a disability attorney, can do in the hopes that they can get the appeal process to move along a little bit faster.

What is a partial disability and how does it work?

It is a sad fact that some Stockton, California residents will never recover fully from their workplace injuries. When this happens, workers are entitled to receive an additional workers' compensation benefit in order to compensate them for their ongoing inability to do the work they used to before their injury.

In order to get any kind of disability benefit, a doctor first has to certify that the accident victim will not recover enough to return fully to his or her own occupation. The doctor will then prepare a special report explaining his or her conclusions and send that report to the insurance company or other person handling the injured worker's claim.

Appeals of unfavorable workers' compensation decisions

After a workplace injury, an injured Stockton, California, employee may need help with medical bills and may also need some income to supplement his or her time off of work. This is what California's no fault workers' compensation is for, and it is designed to get benefits to injured employees quickly and, hopefully, with minimal hassle.

Unfortunately, not every workers' compensation claim goes smoothly for the employee. Sometimes, there may be a real question about whether the injury is covered, and at other times, it may be an issue over the amount of compensation owed. It is also a sad reality that some employers and insurance companies may take a hard line position on a claim, even if it seems like they really do owe the employee additional money.

Nursing: America's most dangerous job?

Compared to the sheen of neighboring communities in the tech industry boom, Stockton is a blue collar town. As such, local employees are aware of the dangers that come with thankless jobs like industrial labor, factory work and construction. These jobs shape the culture of our community in obvious ways. But, is there something or someone unseen among this work?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there are more than four million professional nurses currently working in the United States. We count on nurses to be the daily caregivers for people most in need of medical help. While nurses are tasked with this essential job in the health care industry, are they in danger on the job too?

Asset requirements for Supplemental Security Income

A previous post on this blog discussed the income eligibility requirements that Stockton, California, residents must meet in order to qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. That post also mentioned that a person who wants SSI also has to have a limited amount of assets, even if they are not working and do not make any income.

Assets, which the Social Security Administration calls "resources," include cash, cash equivalents, and just about anything someone can own that could be sold for cash in a time of need. Resources include things like cars, savings bonds and even other items of personal property that have meaningful value, such as a piece of jewelry.

What are the income rules for SSI?

As this blog has touched on in the past, in addition to being disabled, a person who wants to qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, has to show that he or she makes a limited income and does not have property which he or she can use for support while struggling with a disability.

These rules are in place because the SSI program, unlike SSDI, is needs-based, meaning that a person who is entitled to it need not prove he or she has actually paid in to the Social Security system in order to collect this benefit. On the other hand, the Social Security Administration is going to want to be sure that SSI payments are only going to disabled, and certain other qualified people, who are truly in financial need.

New proposed OSHA rule stirs some employers

The federal Occupations Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has proposed some guidelines regarding the reporting of workplace accidents which have caused some consternation among some employers, particularly those who would like to conduct drug and alcohol tests after an accident.

Specifically, the proposed rule, which took effect this year and was going to require employers to submit data of their work accident histories to OSHA for public posting, will now not actually apply to employers until closer to the end of this year, assuming there are no further delays.

Contact

Law Office of Ronald M. Stein, Attorney at Law
4521 Quail Lakes Drive
Stockton, CA 95207

Phone: 209-751-4370
Fax: 209-957-3005
Stockton Law Office Map

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